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Knowing When to Schedule an Emergency Dental Appointment

March 29, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — yournorthshoredentist @ 2:21 pm
Woman with toothache visiting the emergency dentist

If you had a dental checkup scheduled in the near future, odds are that it has been postponed thanks to COVID-19. Right now, state governments and state dental associations are recommending that dentists only accept emergency appointments. But what does that mean for the patients? How will you know if you have a real emergency that needs professional attention right away? Read on to learn more about cases where you’ll need to call your emergency dentist in Jacksonville – as well as what you can do to manage the damage and the pain on your own.

Recognizing a Dental Emergency

Because “dental emergency” is such a broad category, there isn’t really a comprehensive definition that accounts for every issue you might experience that requires urgent care. That said, severe tooth damage, lost teeth, oral pain that doesn’t go away, and persistent swelling are all signs that something is definitely wrong with your smile. Some emergencies may also involve bleeding; normally this can be stopped with a piece of gauze, but if you can’t control it you might need to visit an emergency room.

Common Dental Emergencies

You can take steps to avoid dental emergencies, but they can still happen to anyone at any time. Here are a few examples of common issues that might happen while you’re at home:

  • Toothaches: Tooth pain can happen for many different reasons, but if it keeps getting worse or is accompanied by swelling, it probably means you have an infection.
  • Tooth Avulsion: You could knock out a tooth after a nasty fall or getting hit in the face. Replanting it becomes much more difficult if you aren’t seen by a dentist within the hour.
  • Damaged Teeth: If a large piece of your tooth has broken off and is causing you significant discomfort, it probably rises to the level of an emergency.
  • Lost Restorations: Fillings and crowns are meant to strengthen and protect weakened teeth; losing them can very quickly lead to further issues.

What to Do During an Emergency

Calling your dentist should always be the first step, of course; the practice can decide whether you truly need emergency care based on your symptoms and set up an appointment if needed. While waiting, you can take pain medication and apply an ice pack to any swollen areas. If you need to eat, do not chew with the part of your mouth that’s affected by the issue at hand. It’s a good idea to place dental wax over any jagged edges of a broken tooth or crown so that you don’t accidentally cut the inside of your mouth.

Your dentist may not be able to take regular appointments thanks to COVID-19, but when you’re suffering from a dental injury or severe pain, you can always count on them. Make sure you have their practice’s number on hand at all times so that you can get in touch with them quickly should your teeth suffer from a sudden trauma.

About the Author

Dr. David B. Schwartz has been a practicing dentist since 1988 and is a member of the Chicago Dental Association. His Skokie practice, North Shore Family Dentistry, emphasizes high quality customer service and offering the best services that dentistry has to offer. Dr. Schwartz remains available to treat urgent cases and encourages his patients to call right away if they have a dental emergency. Get in touch with him by visiting his website or calling (847) 677-2894.

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